Duets

1 woman, 1 man; 22 minutes
Duo-Drama represents the struggle for supremacy between men and women. The three sections clearly reflect Humphrey’s early views on the equality of the sexes. The steps are bold and angular and wonderfully capture the spirit of the emerging modern dance movement of the 1930s.

ETUDE PATETICO (1928) (Scriabin)
1 woman, 1 man; 3 minutes
Beautifully created and sculpted, this highly-charged dramatic duet displays Humphrey’s early genius for design. It begins with a romantic embrace; then the man, strong and independent, moves about, as the woman tries to fit into his pattern. Her own demands are ignored, leading to an altercation. The romance is broken as he exits, and she is left alone.

RUDEPOEMA (1934) (Villa Lobos)
1 woman, 1 man; 20 minutes
Rudepoema charts a romantic relationship between a man and a woman. The first section, “Love Dance”, suggest an intense and intimate relationship. The second movement, “Play Dance,” finds the pair poking fun at each other while spoofing the behavior of another couple, an operatic diva and a demanding man, leading to a tug-of-war battle. The final section, “Dance to the Gods”, finds the pair reverentially honoring their experiences together. A long piece of fabric weaves about them throughout, making inventive use of the prop as a shawl, leash and a blanket.

Choreography

Princeton Book Company, Publishers

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